"Our mission is to…Open the hidden perspectives"

Making news in realtime

Posted by Popular Ombudsman on March 8, 2010

Sometimes it can be too involving to go out and snoop for news, so you make the news like these guys who decided to create news in realtime and even avoid the encumberance of a script.

This reminds us of the media people who confuse fan bases with political popularity! Watch this.

Tony Mongare

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Moving a toad and a tortoise

Posted by Popular Ombudsman on February 14, 2010

I am always amused at the similarity between the behaviors of certain people and certain animals!

Just consider two animals, the toad and the tortoise. As a child, I grew up on the farm. We could go searching for mushrooms and hunting for birds. Occasionally, we could chance upon a snake and the natural instinct was for the snake to swiftly disappear into the undergrowth and hope that we did not follow it. We respected that because following the snake to its hiding place was inviting certain death. Toads were also common. A toad produces a very portent, milky substance from glands located on its back. Due to that fact, the bloated animal could just sit firmly on the ground and however much you tried to push it, it refused to budge. Instead, it produced copious secretions from its glands and hoped you touched it. One day, my dog noticing my consternation with the toad decided to give it a mighty bite with its powerful canines. We had a medical emergency there and then which forced us to go running all the way to the river and dip his mouth in clean water several times for the dog to survive. We discovered that the most effective way to get the toad moving was to pour some really hot water on it, and that was guaranteed to evoke a response instantly.

Later on, while in high school, the geography students went for a trip and brought back 2 tortoises. We used the opportunity to study the behavior of the tortoises over a long period. The tortoise would always feign death and withdraw its limbs and head whenever someone approached it. Once it was certain there was nobody within sight, it could emerge and happily start munching away at the grass in its enclosure. The really quick way of getting the tortoise limbs out of its shell was to hold the shell and try to tip it over. The limbs could always come out to ensure it remains upright.

The work of disturbing the tortoises was left to the more mischievous and adventurous boys, for no one was too sure of what might or might not happen.

How could the toad then turn round and take credit for leaping away from hot water or the tortoise for displaying the beauty of his scaly legs and beak under duress?

The corruption drama witnessed this week in Kenya casts the PNU’s president (Mwai Kibaki) as a toad which moves only when hot water is poured over its back. On the other hand, it casts ODM’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga as a tortoise which moved only when circumstances were about to tip him over. The truth is, corruption is the glue that binds this coalition together, each party expects the other to maintain absolute silence as they chomp as much as possible.

Kenyans must make up their minds whether corruption is acceptable so long as its done by their tribesmen or its unacceptable from everyone.

For now, let us remember that maize flour was equally expensive to all ethnic groups while collapse of the free primary education will affect all ethnic groups. Kenyans must stop defending corrupt individuals because they belong to their ethnic group. A major barb to anyone trying to take credit for sacking this or the other PS. That is absolute crap!


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Detailed View of Ash Plume at Eyjafjallajkull Volcano

Posted by Popular Ombudsman on April 21, 2010

Flights cancelled and millions of air passengers stranded; all because of this angry monster in Iceland. The chaos is easing off but if you are a traveller, or were caught in the chaotic airline system, you will not forget in a hurry.

Detailed View of Ash Plume at Eyjafjallaj´┐Żkull Volcano.

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Recruitment of veterans for foreign service?

Posted by Popular Ombudsman on April 6, 2010

Apart from an abortive coup attempt by the air force in 1982, the armed forces have been notable by their reluctance to intervene in Kenyan political life and the country has never been ruled by the military. The military command was seen to have acted with dignity and professionalism in playing a politically neutral role during the December 2002 elections and transition of power after 39 years of KANU rule. Nevertheless, the security forces were heavily politicised and ethnicised under KANU and in his first months in office in 2003, President Kibaki reshuffled a number of positions in the military and security forces command in order to reduce KANU’s political influence in the institution. By regional standards, the Kenyan military is relatively well trained, equipped and financed.There have been allegations that an elite, UK-trained army unit was involved in post-election violence in Kenya and committed serious rights abuses. In September 2008 retired army officers cited allegations of corruption in recruitment, claims of tribalism in promotion of top officers and questionable procurement deals as some of the issues eroding the military’s integrity.The small navy is considered the only operational African naval force north of Durban. An emergency security training programme was launched by the US Government, aimed at establishing a coast guard in Kenya during 1999 but so far no such force has been created. The Kenyan Air Force is the largest and arguably the most professional air force in East Africa although almost all of the current inventory was acquired

Thousands of former and serving members of the Kenyan armed forces are being recruited with the tacit approval of their superiors, both military and civilian, to join the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). A former Kenyan army infantry corporal said that at least three commercial security companies “are actively recruiting trained soldiers inside Kenyan army bases with the full knowledge and approval of high-ranking commanding officers, who receive a kickback for every trained recruit”.The recruiting is mostly done by security companies staffed by former Kenyan and US security service personnel. Overtly but ‘unofficially’ present in most of the army camps, their recruiting efforts are, ostensibly, for staff to work in general security activities for the public and private sector, including guarding diplomatic missions in Kenya; operations overseen from the companies’ Nairobi offices are also carried out in Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda. However, recruits are being told that the combat experience they will gain in these private contracts could apply to active service with the SPLA on eventual operational missions in South Sudan.The security companies are pulling the best soldiers from the active ranks of Kenya’s armed forces, said one senior serving army officer, especially tank, armoured personnel carrier and anti-aircraft crews. Other personnel being actively recruited are specialist infantry and training non-commissioned and senior officers. This is harming the overall composition and capability of the Kenyan army.


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